Back then in the 90s, marriage meant everything to parents and in the villages. They believed women could earn respect only when they bore the name of another man. Moreover, they saw their in-laws as another source of revenue for the family. Let me tell you a real-life story of what happened in my village.
It was a restless night indeed. l was not there but I could see a clear picture when he (Nyonge) told me the story which made me cry. What is poverty turning our parents into? she was treated as a modern slave, in the name of marriage for money.
Why was she the person to pay the price. “married no be by force.”
I know the image of that old fool, between her legs, was that which caused her to scream like a goat being taken to the slaughterhouse the whole night. It was supposed to be the happiest one for her, but it turned out to be the worst and most painful.
Hey reader, take a seat, put that bowl of popcorn beside you, pin that back on that metrass and enjoy the ride.
Let’s talk of this village girl who was forcefully handed in marriage to an old man.
She took it for a joke when her dad told her she was getting married to Ndame. Tombuo was just a girl of 16. She knew no man. Never had sex before nor a boyfriend. Everyone in the village too knew.
So why should she believe her dad about getting married to Ndame who was almost 3 times older than she was? But did it matter to her parents? After all, Ndame was a “Rich man” from the city. He wore clean clothes and shoes, bought drinks for almost everyone in the village and was popular.
The matter became serious when Ndame started visiting the house frequently. He saw warmly welcomed by her parents each time he came around. He always brought gifts too.
See err, for the anger I have towards this man eeer, let’s call him Tormentor Ndame or Tomuntor in short
Tombuo had refused the proposal from the onset. She knew she got a bright future. The plan was for her to finish primary school, secondary right up to university. But her parents shattered this young girl’s dream and sent her to an early marriage. Something that almost took her life.
Tombuo wept when she saw the whole village following the marriage. Her parents, those she believed protected her interest, those she looked up to as her protectors and guardians accepted to give her to Tormentor.
Tombuo wept every day when she heard that Tormentor and his people were coming to pay her bride price. She was lonely because no one in the village wanted to hear her side of the story.
She hid in the room for many days. She went for weeks without food. The imagination of that tormentor in the same house with her made her hate him. He was disgusting to her. Attempts to convince her to love him worsened her hatred for him.
When the marriage day came, the whole village (Langa people) came to enjoy with the family. Tombuo could not believe such an ungodly act was happening to her. All her plans of going to school, making money and getting named to a man of her dreams were distorted.
Tombuo wept as she took the cup of wine to her tormentor. I knew deep in her, she wished the palm wine was poisoned. All eyes were fixed on her with no way to do otherwise. Her dress was soaked with tears, her eyes as red as one suffering from conjunctivitis.
The villagers shouted in jubilation as Tormentor gulped the big cup of palm wine in his old throat. We understand the tears of a woman at her wedding are tears of joy, tears that come as a result of the bond between her and the man. But Tombuo’s were tears of pain, humiliation, frustration and emotional torture.
She watched the villagers from far and near eat, drink, dance, sing and celebrate on her wedding day in tears.
She couldn’t do anything. Even the village “JuJu” warned her not to refuse the marriage. What was she supposed to do? Everyone in the village was against her.
Night came and it was time for the man to take his bride to bed. The village was as quiet and dark as a graveyard. Villagers have never known what an electric pole or motorable road looked like. I am sure the stories Tormentor told them about these helped to convince them to accept his intentions towards Tombuo.
All they could hear that night were screams from Tomentor’s old four-room mud house. All was not well. The new bride refused her husband’s entry into her “Jerusalem.” Her screams were so loud and real. We can’t blame her, she was a virgin. The over 40 years old man wanted to take away what she had been nursing for 16 years.
Tormentor brought a middleman to convince his wife sex was good and necessary for their union. At one point, we thought the middleman had succeeded. He spoke to her calmly and she accepted to mate with her husband. But when he approached her, she would give a loud shout as if Tormentor was attempting to kill her.
This energetic young lady pushed him away with all she got. It was a tussle that night. It was the old generation against the new. Tormentor got it hot from her that night. She didn’t let him touch her. Her screams woke the whole village.
Only the JuJu could solve this matter.
Tombuo finally gave up because no one stood for her. She is a married woman with six kids looking so old as a woman of 60. I know she lives a miserable life and hates her husband.
Dear parents, giving your daughter’s hand in marriage to a man she doesn’t want is wickedness, sinful and ungodly. You shatter her dreams when you do that and the things that come to her mind are hatred, regrets, and disappointments. Every parent who does this should be put behind bars.
The marriage between Tombuo and Ndame has never worked. It is always from one problem to another. So, children should always be given the chance to choose their spouses.
The lessons and disadvantages are glaring. You can add yours to the comments section.
What will you do if you or your sister are forced to get married to a man she doesn’t want?